Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press Guatemala’

Good news for 44+ pending cases in Guatemala, reports Associated Press

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Reported by Nacha Cattan of the Associated Press, in an article titled Guatemala to renew adoptions halted midway by ban, on August 21, 2011:

“Guatemala has issued a decree that could speed up dozens of adoptions by U.S. couples that have been stuck in limbo since the Central American country suspended adoptions in 2007 amid allegations of fraud and even baby theft.”

“The decree says that parents whose adoptions were halted midway by the ban can complete the process if they prove a “prolonged” relationship with the child and that they were not responsible for any fraud, among other requirements. The possibility of a domestic adoption must also be ruled out.”

“But it might not go far enough to solve all pending cases, says Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who will visit Guatemala this week to, among other things, push to expand the program to more U.S. adoptive parents.”

This is a positive step in the right direction. Read the entire article here.


Arrest of suspect in 1982 Guatemalan civil war massacre

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

This Associated Press article from January 24, 2011 reports that a Southern California martial arts instructor suspected of involvement in a 1982 massacre during Guatemala’s civil war was arrested in Canada while visiting his parents and is awaiting extradition to the U.S. 

[Suspect Jorge] Sosa, 52, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana [California] in September after authorities said he lied about his role in the civil war when he applied for U.S. citizenship in 2008.

Sosa was granted citizenship, but it was revoked after the grand jury indictment. He lives in Moreno Valley.

In Guatemala, Sosa was a member of a special military unit called the “Kaibiles” and was the commanding officer of a unit assigned to find and arrest guerrillas who had stolen military weapons, according to court documents.

On Dec. 7, 1982, he and several dozen soldiers stormed the village of Dos Erres, near Las Cruces, and systematically killed the men, women and children, the government claims in the indictment. The unit is accused of slaughtering villagers with sledgehammers and throwing people into a well.


The civil war in Guatemala claimed at least 200,000 lives before it ended in 1996.

In 1982, the “Kaibiles” were tracking an armed insurgency by guerrillas opposed to the military government. The killings cited in the indictment were investigated by the Guatemalan government 12 years later, when a judge ordered the excavation of the site and 162 skeletons were recovered.

The killings qualified under the law as perverse brutality, Guatemalan authorities said, and a judge in that country ordered the arrest of the Kaibiles in 2000.

In September, another former Guatemalan soldier who came to the U.S. was sentenced in Florida to 10 years in U.S. prison for lying on citizenship forms about his military service and role in the incident.

Read the Associated Press article, titled “Guatemala massacre suspect faces charges in California,” here. For more information on the civil war, including information about declassified CIA documents that reveal U.S. involvement in the 1954 coup that set off decades of destabilization in Guatemala, read the Wikipedia entry for Guatemalan Civil War. To learn more, check out Daniel Wilkinson’s excellent book, Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala.